Home > Workplace > Germany > 2009-06-19 - Employment appeal tribunal of Stuttgart, n. 7 Sa (...)

2009-06-19 - Employment appeal tribunal of Stuttgart, n. 7 Sa 84/08

Workplace · Germany · Dress code · Headscarf

Wearing a headscarf as an educator in a public kindergarten is prohibited, since it can contradict the state’s principle of religious neutrality

Key facts of the case - The claimant is employed as an educator at the defendant’s kindergarten (employer). She is Muslim and wears a headscarf also at work. The defendant gave the claimant a warning to put down her headscarf during her work. The claimant wants the warning to be removed out of her personal file.

Main reasoning of the court - The claim has to be rejected by the court. The defendant was allowed to give the claimant a warning. Educators as well as teachers represent the religiously neutral secular state. The claimant wears a religious symbol (headscarf), which means that she infringes the state’s principle of neutrality codified in § 7 VI 1 KiTaG BW (Child Day Care Act – Baden Württemberg). In detail this provision prohibits to educational employees any symbols (not only religious but also ideological and political ones), which could influence the state’s principle of neutrality. It does also not violate the claimant’s freedom of religion according to Art 4 GG. This right has to be weighed up with the children’s freedom of religion (Art 4 I GG), the parent’s right to decide of their children’s religious instruction (Art 7 II GG) and the state’s principle of religious neutrality in every concrete case. The warning was legally valid and will not be removed out of the claimant’s personal file.

Comment - See the ruling by the Federal Labour Court, n. 2 AZR 593/09 of 12 August 2010.